For the first eight years of marriage I learned a few valuable homemaking skills. (However, clearly ironing was not one of them.) I was trying to dominate things like cooking for two, not running out of toilet paper, and learning how to dust in five minutes or less to maximize those valuable few minutes before friends arrived.
While I’m sure I was learning a lot of valuable skills during that period, I can’t really specifically name what I learned. It is all a blur, really, because most of my memories consist of me feeling inadequate, uneducated, and like a failure when it came to the state of our home.
I would compare myself to others and the skills that other friends were totally nailing. Combine those insecurities with living in an ever growing world of technology and being surrounded by knowledge and opinions and things that I should be doing and I was a mess! And I’m talking about feeling like a mess BEFORE the creation of blogs & Pinterest were even around full force. (I’ve learned to use these tips to help with the whole Pinterest thing.)
“All of the good moms do what?”
Healthy Living, blah.
Cleaning, blah, blah.
Cooking, blah, blah, blah!
How do we continue growing in areas that don’t necessarily make us come alive? How do we stretch ourselves to learn new skills, expand our knowledge and expose ourselves to things that might actually change the way we have always thought about things? I mean really, we all have plenty of things going on in life and, if anything, most of us need to scale things back but one thing is for sure…we still want to keep learning!
So how do we do that?
When I set out to learn just two new skills each year (that are outside of my comfort zone) I easily reach my goal, don’t feel overwhelmed, get to add some awesome skills to my tool belt and I walk away feeling like I conquered the world!
After five years I would be able to name TEN new skills that I have learned.
In ten years I could name TWENTY!
That sounds a lot better than ten years of being overwhelmed, comparing myself to others and setting myself up for failure…with nothing much to show for it.
By shooting to simply learn two new skills a year it doesn’t mean that I won’t necessarily learn more, but it also means that I don’t have to feel pressured to learn EVERYTHING! We are all going to naturally learn more about the topics we enjoy. I’ve seen those people who love to cook…you can’t hold them back…they soak up Pioneer Woman like a sponge soaks up water! Kind of like how no one had to hold me down and convince me to plank a wall in our house.
What I love most about this is that once I’ve determined what I want to learn more about in a given year I don’t feel any pressure or insecurities about the things I’ve still yet to understand.
Ever since my thirtieth birthday I can tell you exactly what I learned over the past few years. 2012 is a little blurry. I did however survive our first year after adopting which was a learning curve all on its own and after watching how a friend did her laundry I adapted a system that worked for us. I also remember somehow finding time in the midst of that year to learn how to cook dry beans for the first time. (You laugh…I’m serious! I was convinced that it took a culinary chef to cook dry beans…turns out I was wrong.)
In the near future I’ll share the two things that I’ve decided to learn more about in 2014. A friend was recently telling me all about her kombucha creation. It all sounded quite strange, honestly, but I told her to check back with me in 2015…maybe by then I would be interested in giving it a try. 🙂
Enjoy the journey.